My academy days are over.

It had nothing to do with gangs, but one of our recent classes opened with this highly intoxicated man on a lawnmower.

The video is a nice example of the balance between the professionalism and levity that students have experienced throughout the entire set of Citizens’ Academy classes.

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Week 12: Gangs

When I think of gangs, I tend to conjure up memories of WWF’s The One Man Gang or the Los Locos chant from Short Circuit 2.

There are days I need a nerd intervention.

But the final round of Citizens’ Academy took us into the world of non-fictional gangs, from the Bloods and the Crips to Pine Ridge’s own Wild Boyz.

Here’s a breakdown of the country’s “gangland.”

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Week 11: Pressure situations, pressure points

At the beginning of the video, there is only a boy. He is dressed in a nondescript collared shirt and jeans. The shirt is untucked. The boy looks harmless.

Then, the video begins and he pulls out guns. How many guns?

“He took a small arsenal out of his pants,” said Sgt. Mike Koster.

It was a good example of why schools often turn to dress codes.

But the video that followed was not only more on topic with the lesson of use of force but a disturbing example of how quickly a traffic stop can turn deadly for an officer.

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Week 10: Mental and alcohol holds with one reporter…medium rare.

Given the number of hits both this blog and the Daily Republic site have received since the video of my now-infamous Tasing, it appears that many of you (including my friends and family) are enjoying a slightly-cooked reporter.

Now, it’s time to describe the classroom lessons that led to my electric song.

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Just let your soul glow…

The full blog, complete with pictures, a breakdown of the class (complete with a detailed description of the incident shown below) and additional videos will be up soon.

Until then, enjoy a video of yours truly getting Tased by some very entertained police officers.

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I have the glow.

Last night, it happened.

Later today, you will see the video.

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Week 9: They give us guns.

We met earlier than usual this week. Instead of the usual PD room, this week’s classroom was located south of town and featured a line of blue humanoid targets and a picnic table lined with Glock pistols and the MP5, the SWAT gun used during room clearing training that I long have daydreamed to fire.

The MP5 has three settings: single shot, double shot (meaning it fires two bullets with every pull of the trigger) and fully automatic.

Fully. Automatic.

Cue joyful squeal.

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Week 8: The sad and scary reality of child, sexual and domestic abuse.

This week’s class involved various forms of abuse. It will feature some graphic content. Please read at your own discretion.

You will see no pictures, as instructor Kelly Knippling asked that I refrain from taking any. The victims we saw were all local. The baby who had scalding milk thrown it its face, the child with cigarette burns on the arms…all of these children were or are area residents.

This blog will not be for the faint of heart.

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Week 7: The good dogs, the bad dogs and the deer that stood on the bus.

John Parker will happily give you animal advice.

The Mitchell Animal Control Officer has seen his fair share animals ranging from geese to boa constrictors to camels.

Yes, camels.

Badgers occasionally show up, especially at construction sites. Someone asked if Parker traps them. He smiles.

“They are absolutely the nastiest thing in the world and they will eat a trap,” Parker said. “The last thing on Earth you want to do is set a trap for a badger because you might catch one.”

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Week 6: Stopping, looking and not saying “Thank you.”

On April 19, 1995, 168 people died when a rental truck carrying almost 5,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate and fuel ignited in front of Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.

One hour later, a 27-year-old white male was pulled over for driving a vehicle with no license plate. He was taken into custody for the offense as well as possessing an illegal firearm.

Three days later, officers figured out that Timothy McVeigh – the man behind the wheel of the 1977 Mercury Marquis with no license plate – was the mastermind and perpetrator of the bombing.

Lesson: You never know where a routine traffic stop can go.

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